I hope you had a restful Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard enough to distinguish a weekend from a weekday, but a holiday almost seems hard to recognize. But Memorial Day is incredibly important to ensure we remember the sacrifice and selflessness of men and women across our country and right here at home in defense of our country. Of course, with powerful reminders like the New York Times front page this weekend, it’s not hard to see the parallels of loss and sacrifice happening right here and now as well.
Faced with these steep losses, and what feels like an endless drumbeat of bad news, I wanted to ask if you’d share a story of hope or resilience in these difficult times. I know much of what’s in these newsletter updates is often sobering or a painful reminder of loss, but I’d like to start adding a new feature - a story from one of you about something good that’s happened, a sliver of hope that you see, or a way a neighbor or family member has been resilient in the face of adversity. Maybe it’s the high school or college senior who found a way to have a special graduation, maybe it’s a neighborhood kid who left inspiring sidewalk messages written in chalk, or maybe it’s the neighbor who began the phone tree to check in with folks living alone in the building or on the block. The floor is yours, and I’ll share these messages with others so that we can all take comfort in the hope these acts play in our lives.
On Wednesday, the Mayor announced an Educational and Academic Retail Stores pilot program to grant waivers for curbside and front door pickup, and the application is now open: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/ears
Locally owned businesses eligible to apply fall into these categories:
- Book Stores
- Art Supply Stores
- Music Shops
- Toy Stores
- Office Supply Stores
This week brought news of an extended Stay-At-Home order by the Mayor. If you’ve been following the data and updates on DC’s testing and infection rates, this likely didn’t come as a surprise. But I also know that many neighbors were looking for an update by the Mayor on schools, summer camps, and more this week. Like you, my own household is trying to figure out the next few months for our kids. I’ve talked with the Mayor’s team and they are planning to provide a summer planning update next week - so stay tuned!
April was hard. On many levels. We’ve watched the daily counter of lives lost to COVID continually tick up higher and higher. We’ve had to tell our kids - like Jordi and I did the other week - they won’t be returning to their school, their teachers, and their friends this spring and try to reassure them through that disappointment.
At times, responding to this pandemic has been a bit like building the plane while flying it.
Who are you staying home for? It's an important question to have an answer to as the weeks drag on. I have friends who are working on the front lines of the emergency rooms at our hospitals. I'm staying home for them, because I know they are leaving their families and putting their own safety on the line to treat our neighbors who get ill.
Read the full letter from Councilmember Charles Allen to the Deputy Mayor for Justice and Public Safety regarding the conditions at DC Jail, as reported by court-appointed inspectors:
I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. If you’re like me, it’s a tough adjustment to hear the sounds of Spring all around us, and then see neighbors in face masks from a distance. These are difficult realities we’re all settling in to.
Let me start off this note by saying thank you. I know many, many Ward 6 residents are diligently following physical distancing guidelines and doing their part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. I know it's hard. We’re coming into the critical few weeks where our cases are going to be spiking. If physical or social distancing was super important last week, these next few weeks are critical! Stay inside as much as you can. Prevent. the. spread.
DC Board of Elections Launches Major Mail-in Ballot Effort for June 2 & 16 Primary & Special Elections
Today, the District of Columbia Board of Elections announced a significant effort to encourage District voters to use a mail-in ballot for the upcoming June 2 Primary Election and June 16 Ward 2 Special Election.